Wayne Hennessey Says Wales Taking Nothing For Granted
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey says Wales are refusing to talk about playing at Euro 2016, and are fully focused on their next qualifier in Cyprus.
The Welsh have been waiting for 58 years to play in a major finals but are taking nothing for granted despite their dominant position in Euro 2016 qualifying.
Chris Coleman’s side top Group B with 14 points from six games after beating group favourites Belgium in June and need to win only two of their last four matches to qualify for the European Championships next summer.
Wales could secure qualification as early as this week with an away game in Cyprus on Thursday followed by the visit of Israel on Sunday, but Hennessey said it was too premature to think about qualifying for a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.
“We don’t want to think about it (qualifying) yet,” Hennessey said. “We want to get over the line and it’s going to be two difficult games.
“But hopefully we can do the business out in Cyprus and set it up for the home game and beat Israel.”
Hennessey, 28, will win his 50th cap in Nicosia on Thursday and is entrenched as the Wales number one despite struggling to get game time at Crystal Palace.
“To get to 50 caps, especially with the (knee) injury I had, is a fantastic honour and a great achievement,” Hennessey said.
Gareth Bale’s rapid return home on the weekend sums up the mood of excitement in the Wales camp, Hennessey says.
Bale put a picture on his official Twitter account within an hour or so of Real Madrid’s 5-0 Primera Division thrashing of Real Betis, in which the Wales star striker twice in his new No 10 role at the Bernabeu.
Standing by a private jet, Bale tweeted: ‘Now on to Wales!!’ – and Hennessey admits the Real star’s message was a huge boost as Chris Coleman’s side.
“Balo is absolutely buzzing, but whenever we all meet together there’s a buzz around us,” Hennessey said.
“We want to do well and our country proud. But Balo’s games come quick and fast, so to get on a flight that quick and get over here explains it all.”